Andres Gimenez and Jarred Kelenic have a shared background.
Both were highly touted prospects in the New York Mets system traded away for stars.
Cleveland’s Gimenez was the centerpiece of a deal this past offseason in which the Indians sent fellow shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-hander Carlos Carrasco to New York.
Kelenic, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 draft out of high school, was traded that winter to Seattle as part of the deal that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Big Apple.
The 21-year-old Kelenic made his major-league debut Thursday, going 0-for-4 while playing left field and batting leadoff for the Mariners in a 4-2 loss to visiting Cleveland.
The teams continue their four-game series Friday night at T-Mobile Park.
Gimenez, 22, has struggled in his first season in Cleveland. He’s batting just .171 with a .522 on-base-plus-slugging percentage through 27 games and has made five errors.
“I feel good there. I always feel the same way,” Gimenez said through an interpreter. “The only difference now is that the results are coming along defensively. But I always feel great playing shortstop.”
After Gimenez, who batted .260 in spring training, got off to a slow start in the regular season, Indians manager Terry Francona started rotating Gimenez and Amed Rosario, acquired in the same trade, at short.
“He got off to a tough start and he’s trying to do too much, maybe even defensively, too,” Francona said. “… It looked like he was trying to go a little too fast. Hopefully it’ll start to slow down a little bit.”
Gimenez said he just has to concentrate von what he can control.
“I just have to focus on playing hard and doing my best that I can do in the field,” he said. “That way the game will slow down. The most important thing is that the team is winning. For me, that’s the real important part, is that we’re able to win games.”
The Indians have won four in a row and nine of their past 10. The only loss in that span was when they were no-hit by Cincinnati’s Wade Miley in a 3-0 decision on May 7.
Indians right-hander Aaron Civale (5-0, 2.91 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound Friday against Mariners right-hander Chris Flexen (3-1, 3.78). Neither pitcher has faced the opponent before.
The Mariners have lost five in a row. They snapped a 16 2/3-inning hitless streak at home Thursday when J.P. Crawford led off the eighth inning with a single against Indians right-hander Zach Plesac. Seattle was no-hit by Baltimore’s John Means on May 5 in the last game of their previous homestand.
“The biggest concern is where we are offensively,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Too many times we’re not getting enough done, especially early in games.”
The Mariners hope Kelenic, ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, will help improve on their major-league worst .201 team batting average.
“Jarred’s at-bats created lots of excitement and anxiety,” Servais said. “I thought as the game went on he calmed down and had some good swings.”
–Field Level Media